Rotoprofessor’s Draft Strategy: Final Round

Dec 11, 2008

Written by Eric Stashin the Rotoprofessor

It’s an interesting question as what you should do with your final round draft choice.  Do you take a rookie to stash away?  Do you take a player being pegged as a breakout candidate?  Do you take an injury risk sleeper?  Do you take a player who has completely fallen out of grace?

Obviously, this is only a relevant discussion if you are in a league where you draft reserves (which should be most leagues).  Otherwise, if you are drafting only players to use in your starting line-up, you obviously aren’t taking someone to stash away.  Instead, you are going to look for the player who best fits the position that is vacant.

Here is the last round of one of my drafts from prior to the 2008 season (3 OF’ers, no CI or MI):

  1. Homer Bailey
  2. Kevin Kouzmanoff
  3. Mark Teahen
  4. Kazuo Matsui
  5. Chris Duncan
  6. Troy Glaus
  7. Greg Maddux
  8. Stephen Drew
  9. Mark Buehrle
  10. Billy Butler
  11. Jair Jurrjens
  12. Melky Cabrera

The whole scope of possibilities was covered here as well as everything in between.  You had young players/rookies looked upon as good players to stash away (Bailey, Jurrjens).  You had breakout candidates (Kouzmanoff, Drew).  You had injury risk players (Glaus).  You had older stars who have fallen out of favor (Maddux).

The question is, which direction should you go?  Personally, I tend to lean towards the breakout potential player, unless I’m completely sold on a youngster that could be worth stashing or a veteran who is sitting there is just too good to pass up.  My pick in this draft was Kouzmanoff (boy, would I have rather been able to say it was Drew), and despite it not necessarily panning out perfectly, it is a pick I’d be willing to make again because it was my last pick and I was gambling on upside potential.  If the pick failed (and it pretty much did), what did it hurt?  The fact that I won the league tells you that it didn’t…at all.  If it had panned out, Kouzmanoff could have been my starting 3B.

This season, in the two expert mock drafts I’ve completed (though they don’t have benches) I’ve taken Aaron Hill and Mike Cameron.  Hill fits the mold of Kouzmanoff, while Cameron was a need pick more then anything.  Generally, I’d rather try to strike gold (like the person did with Drew in ‘08) as opposed to a veteran where you know what you’re going to get.  Hill is a player that I feel could produce as a starting 2B, so he’s a player that I’ll be targeting (and there will be an upcoming article discussing him as a sleeper coming soon).  He seems like a perfect end game play for upside potential.

What do you try to target in your drafts final round?

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